OXFORD — Ole Miss football fans who will be visiting Oxford this week for the first time since the spring will notice a significant difference in Old Taylor Road, a major entrance to the University of Mississippi campus.
The Old Taylor Road interchange off Mississippi Highway 6 underwent a major transformation this spring, aimed at helping traffic flow more smoothly when school is in session — and on football game days, like Saturday when Ole Miss hosts the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
On-ramps in each direction were widened, acceleration/deceleration lanes were extended, and double roundabouts were added on each side of the highway.
The bridge that carries Old Taylor Road over SR 6 was widened from two to four lanes, and a protected eight-foot lane was added for pedestrian and bicycle traffic. The exit areas will be enhanced with new lighting, and the bridge is adorned with a University of Mississippi imprint and bronze plaques in the shape of the historic Lyceum, the oldest building on the Ole Miss campus. Additionally, the new bridge railing was constructed to mimic the look of railings on campus bridges that were built some 60 years ago.
Engineers from Jackson-based Neel-Schaffer Inc. designed the roundabouts and bridge widening and adornments. Talbot Brothers Contracting did the construction, which had a $6.8-million price tag. Old Taylor Road was closed to all traffic in May of this year and reopened in early August, ahead of the Aug. 15 deadline.